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Pre-WW2 Military and Naval Aviation Please use this forum to discuss Military and Naval Aviation before the Second World War.

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  #1  
Old 3rd March 2018, 12:39
paulmcmillan paulmcmillan is offline
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US Navy Loss December 12, 1931 ?

I have a US Navy pilot Matthias Bennett Gardner (later a Admiral) on two Parachute lists for San Diego, California for the date December 12, 1931.


http://www.militaryhallofhonor.com/h...ord.php?id=520

I have him on one from a list in 1931 and another from a 1935 list so I assume the year and location are correct

I can find no contemporary reports of this incident

I can find no reports of an incident in San Diego for that date - the nearest I can see is for 8th Dec 1931 F8C-4 A-8429

Can anyone please solve this for me ?

Many Thanks
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Old 3rd March 2018, 16:41
twocee twocee is offline
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Re: US Navy Loss December 12, 1931 ?

Then-Lieutenant Gardner, of VF-6B, flying F4B-2, A-8636, was practicing spin recoveries on 18Dec31. He was twice successful, but the third spin could not be countered and he was forced to bail out at 3,000'. The aircraft crashed at "Spreckel's Gravel Pit", which appears to be near Monterey?

The 8th December event was a landing accident.
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Old 3rd March 2018, 18:45
paulmcmillan paulmcmillan is offline
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Re: US Navy Loss December 12, 1931 ?

George

This was the only US Navy incident I could not confirm for 1931

I note the date was wrong in my lists (a not unknown occurrence!)

From your correction I have now found a couple of news reports on the incident

Arizone Daily Star
Tuscon Arizon
Sat Dec 19, 1931 Page 4

NEW CATERPILLAR
SAN DIEGO, Dec 18 (AP)


Lieutenant M,B, Gardner, commander
of fighting plane squadron
No. 6 at the North Island Naval Air
took to his parachute today
and landed safety after his speedy
ship became unmanageable near the
end of a ten thousand foot dive.

Kind Regards and Thanks

Paul
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Old 3rd March 2018, 20:42
twocee twocee is offline
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Re: US Navy Loss December 12, 1931 ?

Having spent a bit more time on Google I now think that the Gravel Pit was in Chula Vista, just south of North Island. The Saratoga squadrons were all at the latter base in late 1931.
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Old 4th March 2018, 18:54
Leendert Leendert is offline
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Re: US Navy Loss December 12, 1931 ?

A reference to (a) Spreckel's Gravel Pit on this website: http://www.santacruztrains.com/2017/...-pit-no-1.html

Regards,

Leendert
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